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Brendan Fraser breaks down in tears as ‘The Whale’ gets 6-minute standing ovation in Venice

If the Sunday evening world premiere of “The Whale” on the Venice Movie Competition is any indication, Brendan Fraser’s return to Hollywood might be met with loads of cheers — and much more tears.

When the credit rolled on the Darren Aronofsky drama, through which Fraser performs a 600-pound homosexual man confined to a wheelchair, the actor was overcome with emotion.

Fraser sobbed all through the six-minute standing ovation, which is able to probably put him on the forefront of this yr’s greatest actor Oscars race.

Amongst these noticed contained in the Sala Grande Theatre had been Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Nick Kroll and Hillary Clinton staffer Huma Abedin, who was seated a number of rows behind Fraser and shed as many tears as he did. Many others contained in the theater additionally broke out a handkerchief in the course of the movie’s heartbreaking ultimate scenes.

Fraser hugged Aronofsky a number of in the course of the ovation. He tried to depart the theater at one level, however the outpouring of clapping was so loud, he stayed longer and took a bow. 

“The Whale” stars Fraser as a person dwelling with extreme weight problems who struggles to reconnect together with his 17-year-old daughter, performed by “Stranger Issues” breakout Sadie Sink. The supporting forged additionally contains Hong Chau, Samantha Morton and Ty Simpkins. The film is predicated on the play of the identical identify by Samuel D. Hunter, who tailored the stage script into Aronofsky’s characteristic.

To play the lead character within the movie, Fraser wore a prosthetic swimsuit that added anyplace from 50 to 300 kilos given the scene. The actor spent as a lot as six hours within the make-up chair every day to totally remodel into the character.

In an interview forward of the movie’s Venice premiere, Fraser shared that his prosthetic swimsuit was “cumbersome, not precisely comfy,” including, “The torso piece was nearly like a strait jacket with sleeves that went on, airbrushed by hand, to look similar as would human pores and skin, proper right down to the hand-punched hair.”

“I developed muscle tissue I didn’t know I had,” Fraser instructed journalists on the Venice press convention about carrying the prosthetic swimsuit.

“I even felt a way of vertigo on the finish of the day when all of the home equipment had been eliminated; it was like stepping off the dock onto a ship in Venice. That [sense of] undulating. It gave me appreciation for these whose our bodies are related. It’s good to be an extremely sturdy individual, mentally and bodily, to inhabit that bodily being.”

In his evaluation of “The Whale” out of Venice, Selection movie critic Owen Gleiberman referred to as Fraser “slyer, subtler, extra haunting than he has ever been,” including that he offers an “intensely lived-in and touching efficiency.”

“The Whale” marks one other buzzy Venice premiere for Aronofsky, who has a wealthy historical past with the celebrated pageant. Whereas he stumbled at his first Venice with the premiere of “The Fountain,” he bounced again in 2008 when “The Wrestler” received the Golden Lion. “Black Swan” was one of many large hits of the 2010 Venice Movie Competition — and received Mila Kunis an rising actor prize — whereas “mom!” was all anybody might speak about on the 2017 fest.

Fraser grew to become a marquee motion star on the motion pictures with 1997’s “George of the Jungle” and the field workplace franchise “The Mummy,” however he relinquished his main man standing within the 2010s, as he took smaller roles, together with an element on TV’s “The Affair.”

Though Fraser had a supporting function in Steven Soderbergh’s “No Sudden Transfer” final yr, “The Whale” marks an enormous comeback for the actor in his first starring function in a movie since 2013’s direct-to-DVD motion film “Breakout.” On Fraser’s upcoming docket is Martin Scorsese’s Apple western “Killers of the Flower Moon.” His flip as Garfield Lynns/Firefly within the DC tentpole “Batgirl” won’t be seen as Warner Bros. canceled the movie’s launch.

A24 will launch “The Whale” in theaters Dec. 9.

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